Reading faces lull in Covid vaccine supplies

Vaccine progress was discussed at the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board on 22 January.
Photo of Covid vaccine vial

There is likely to be a ‘lull’ in Covid vaccinations in Reading next week due to supplies being diverted to other areas.

Dr Andy Ciecierski, a GP in Emmer Green and vice-chair of the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board revealed the potential slow-down in response to a question from Healthwatch Reading, at a public online meeting of the board on Friday 22 January.

Dr Ciecierski said as surgeries in Reading had been doing well in getting through the first priority patients, he understood that vaccine supplies would be diverted to other areas that needed to catch up. “Next week there might be a bit of a lull…there will be a little but of flux and it won’t be incessant every week”.

His own surgery, working with Balmore Park Surgery as part of the Caversham Primary Care Network had vaccinated more than 4,000 priority patients in the past 10 days. Vaccine hubs across Reading were getting more efficient after early teething problems and he praised clinical staff for doing extra shifts, and patients who had volunteered for roles such as queue and traffic marshalls.

“Everyone is working intensively hard,” Dr Ciecierski added.

Other vaccine news

  • 4,400 out of 5,500 staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital have been vaccinated
  • All local care home residents should have the jab by the end of next week
  • A meeting will soon take place between faith and ethnic minority leaders, doctors and public health officials to help encourage vaccine uptake

Information shared at the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board on 22 January 2021

No Reading-wide data is available yet on the total numbers vaccinated. Healthwatch Reading chief executive Mandeep Kaur Bains asked whether we would be getting detailed figures, such as the ethnicity and age of people who had agreed to get a Covid vaccine.

Meradin Peachey, Director of Public Health for Berkshire West, replied that they were pressing NHS England for detailed information. She said they were trying to understand why some minority ethnic people, and some care home staff, were less willing to have the vaccine. She added that doctors were unable to order as many vaccines as they had capacity to give – they just had to wait for a share of the national supply.

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